Six months ago I started using Latisse for my eye lashes after my dermatologist saw me using lash extensions. I was at my friend’s wedding the weekend before and loved the length and fullness so much that I tried to make them last a few more days. I never thought of getting them done on a repetitive basis until I fell in love with how full they looked. At $150 to have them first placed, then $40 every two weeks to update, it was no inexpensive cosmetic cost I was considering adding to my monthly beautification budget. What put me over the edge was when the dermatologist warned me about how dangerous they were to wear long term and to constantly change them at a salon could impact my normal eyelash growth in the future. As always, she had a solution: she recommended I try Latisse, which is a Bimatoprost drug drops for growing your own longer lashes. After 3 months of consistent, nightly application to my upper eyelids, she assured me that I would see an incredible difference… and she was right! Latisse works, and if done right, according to my dermatologist, it works 100% of the time (I can’t honestly think of anything that works 100% of the time).
But before I dove eyelash first into the prescription treatment, I asked her a few questions and she calmed my nerves about using it. I have light green eyes and I was so scared about hearing my green eyes could turn brown, but apparently, the side effect (turning a light eye color into brown) hasn’t happened to anyone using Latisse or any alternatives which contain Bimatoprost agent (so why list it as a side effect? Who knows!). I did experience some itchiness and redness of my eyes and some redness of my eyelids when I first started, but after about 3 weeks I didn’t have anymore discomfort. The pinkness of my eyelids is still there, but I hardly notice it, especially if I put on a little eyeshadow.
In clinical trials, bimatoprost (the actual drug that makes up Latisse, Capreprost, Bimat, and Lumigan) was first used for glaucoma (according to my doctor) and although it helped treat glaucoma, they saw the amazing “side effect” of people’s eyelashes growing longer and fuller! How interesting! Apparently the medication keeps your lashes in a growth phase (the building, lengthening, and darkening phase of the growth cycle) so that they don’t turn off – they keep growing in length and in quantity. When stopped, your lashes go back to the way they were beforehand, but the frequency of treatments (number of times I apply at night per week) has dropped off since I passed the 3-month mark – this is what my dermatologist told me to do. Now, 6 months into treatment, I only apply 2-3 times per week and my lashes still look great.
I’ve gone through about 1.5 bottles of 3ml Latisse at this point, but I got lucky when I first started because my dermatologist had a special offer going on where I could buy a 5mL bottle and get a 3mL bottle for free. Even though Latisse is applied with a brush-like applicator to the upper eyelid only, both my upper eyelashes and lower eyelashes got longer/fuller. The great results I got were visible after the first month, but only continued to wow me as time went on. After only 2 months my co-workers started asking me if I was wearing false lashes again – that was such an awesome feeling. After I finished 3 months of treatment, my friends asked me if I was using Neulash or some other prescription products, and I told them Latisse (and Latisse generics Bimat, Careprost and Lumigan) – seriously, there is nothing else that works, so why use an imitator? My lashes are perfect now and nothing beats 100% success rate, minimal side effects, reasonable cost, and the fact that I’m growing MY OWN lashes and not damaging my eyelids or my eyes. I recommend Latisse, or if you have short budget any alternative to Latisse with Bimatoprost 0.03% as an active ingredient, to all my friends and co-workers, and have probably gotten 5 or 6 of my friends, including my own mother, to start using it.
Before starting Latisse I contemplated eyelash extensions and even booked an appointment to get it done. However, when I heard about the every 2-3 week maintenance and then some horror stories of my friend’s natural lashes falling out, I canceled my appointment as soon as possible. I knew I had to find an alternative to eyelash extensions. Weeks went by and then a friend brought Latisse to my attention. I was intrigued and wanted to try it out immediately. However, when I heard about the high cost per bottle, I was conflicted. Over two hundred dollars for a little bottle that contained only a few milliliters, are they crazy? At the time I was a student and every dollar mattered. Therefore, I continued using individual false lashes and the stick on strip lashes for a while longer. Yet, this added time to my routine and I could never get it quite right.
A couple of weeks went by and I decided to do some proper investigating, specifically on Latisse. I found out that a doctor’s note was needed to complete the purchase. So I booked my appointment with my family doctor, got a prescription, only to discover that the product was only available in the United States. I would have to wait weeks for it, pay in American dollars and I was not confident that they would even accept my Canadian doctor’s note. So I left it alone. A year or so went by and I ran across Latisse again when visiting my local spa. I asked if I could purchase this product and since the last time I saw it, the rules have changed. There was no need for a doctor’s note or prescription so I absorbed the information and walked out.
Latisse was designed for those who have hypotrichosis (ie abnormal hair patterns). That word itself sounded scary so I made sure to do additional research. Plus, I was worried about my eyelids darkening or becoming red near the lash line, random black specks in the iris, hair growing where it should not and of course an infection or unexpected reaction.
Ironically, while I was on a flight to London, England I happened to be seated next to Dr. Amir Rouzati. By some coincidence, we started speaking about Latisse and he answered all of my questions and concerns. I made my decision to begin and knew that within four to twelve weeks I would see results. When I got home from my trip, I took a leap of faith, went to pick up my bottle of Latisse and decided to document my experience for the fun of it.
The instructions tell you to start immediately by applying one drop of Latisse to one sterile brush per upper lash line, every day. I used Latisse at night as recommended to me, yet I did it every OTHER day for the first week. I made a judgment call for myself and I wanted to give my body time to adjust to something new. For example: Monday apply, Tuesday no, Wednesday apply, Thursday no, Friday apply, Saturday no, Sunday apply, and so forth. I must note that, it was very clear that I was not to apply Latisse to the bottom lash line, as the liquid somehow transfers over from the upper lash line. Furthermore, instead of putting the Latisse drop directly on the brush I have been carefully pouring Latisse into the inside of the green cap (of the bottle). It is easy and I have not had a negative experience with it yet.
I was also very conscious of wiping off the excess liquid around my eyes so the only hair that would grow is on my lashes. I watched a few videos of girls saying that they did not wipe the excess liquid off and they had little hairs growing on their cheeks. Overall, everything seemed to be okay for the first week so then I began to do apply Latisse daily. The instructions said to use one brush per lash line (eye), but after watching countless YouTube videos and using my general common sense, I decided on using one sterile brush for both applications (both eyes) each night. Then I tossed the brush out into the trash. Many people complained that the brushes were running out by the time they got to the end of their bottles so this was a good solution to avoid a problem that I did not want to happen. Therefore, to be clear that is one drop for one lash line and then using the same brush, applying another drop for the other lash line. I figured it would be okay as I use one mascara wand for both eyes on the daily, for months on end. Years later, I am still using this technique and most times I do not even use two drops of Latisse. I just use one as it saves the product and I can maintain my look. I did this only after getting my desired results. For example, I stuck to a strict schedule for the first bottle, then the following bottles of Latisse I applied more sparsely with no impact on length or fullness to my lashes.
I started Latisse in 2014 and have been a regular customer since then. I have always purchased 3ml bottle. From my experience, each bottle lasts approximately 3-5 months. It has now been approximately four years of continuous Latisse use and I have personally never been happier. I started off with light and short lashes and now I have darker, fuller, and definitely longer lashes. My issue now is having to wipe off the mascara around my inner eyebrows as my lashes keep grazing them. A problem I enjoy having. Plus, none of the side effects that I was worried about occurred. It was also reassuring to know that if I ever decided to forgo maintaining Latisse, in approximately eight weeks my lashes will return to their natural state. In the meantime, I have had an abundance of compliments on my lashes and I have referred at least a dozen friends and family members. Yes, it has been an investment but one I can justify. I can even go days without mascara and still feel beautiful, whereas before I felt like I needed that extra oomph. It is so liberating to not have to rely on fake lashes. Now I have great lashes that are my own and I do not only count on those night outs to feel extra special.
Latisse Cost: ~ $200 Canadian dollars per 3ml bottle (without taxes).
Latisse – a magical medicine that makes your eyelashes grow longer and thicker. Sound too good to be true? I thought so too. But after experimenting with it myself over the past 9 months, I have been convinced! So many of my friends have asked me about this medicine (and about whether I had lash extensions on!) that I think a blogpost is long overdue.
Since a picture speaks a thousand words, here are “Before” and “After” photos.
I’m personally quite happy with Latisse because I (and the people around me!) can see a noticeable difference. My lashes were short and thin to begin with, and now they are much longer, though lash density is still lacking. However, lash thickness is easily correctable with the right mascara. I am using Makeup Forever Smoky Lash Extra Black Mascara in the above photo. You can probably notice that I have a side effect of redness on the eyelid where Latisse is applied. It doesn’t bother me much since most of the time I wear eyeliner anyways, and when I don’t, it just looks like eyeshadow. Also, the redness is enhanced by the lighting in the photos, and it is less obvious in real life.
So what is Latisse? Latisse is the FDA approved medicine for treating of short eyelashes with the main active ingredient – Bimatoprost 0.03%, generic names Bimat, Careprost and Lumigan. It is called Bimatoprost, a prostaglandin analogue, originally developed as a glaucoma medication for people with high eye pressure. Those patients noticed that a side effect of their meds was long and thick eyelash growth, to the point where some had to trim their lashes (now that’s the type of side effect I would like to have!). The medication was repackaged into Latisse, a treatment for “hypotrichosis”, or short eyelashes. Your cells are constantly going through a dividing, growth, and death cycle, and Latisse keeps your eyelash cells in the “growth” phase. Once you stop using Latisse, your lashes will go back into their normal cycle within the following 5-7 weeks. They will fall out eventually at different times and then grow back into your pre-Latisse length.
Latisse works by topical application, which is an application to the skin. Every night, you drop the medicine onto applicators and brush it onto the base of your upper eyelid, where you usually draw eyeliner. The medication is applied once per night on a clean face. Full growth occurs at week 14, after which you can apply the drops every other night for maintenance.
Side effects include eyelid redness (which I experienced) and itching or drying of the eyelid (which I experienced on the FIRST day of use only). It can also cause the colored parts of the eye to darken over years.